Lake Kivu


On the western boundary of Rwanda is Lake Kivu. It offers a wonderful setting to end your Rwanda safari. Or it could be a relaxing interlude between wildlife viewing. As it lies between the primate hotspot of Nyungwe Forest and the gorilla trekking of Volcanoes National Park.

One of Africa’s Great Lakes, Lake Kivu is the sixth-largest lake in the world. It covers a whopping surface area of roughly 2,700 square kilometres. Plus it’s also one of the deepest, reaching to almost 500 metres at its maximum.

Sunset on Lake Kivu

Steep forested hills plunge into this beautiful Rift Valley lake with its palm-fringed little sandy bays.  A wild roller-coaster road connects the three resort towns of Gisenyi, Kibuye and Cyangugu. It meanders through lush terraced fields and patches of misty rain forest. Occasionally it offers sweeping views over the blue waters. And behind the lake is the spectacular backdrop of the Virunga volcanic mountains.

You can either stay at the colonial old town of Gisenyi. Or the pretty beach town of Kibuye. Gisenyi is set on a sandy beach lined with swaying palms and colonial-era hotels. These exude an atmosphere of tropical languor.

The steep surrounding hills are webbed with hiking trails leading through lush forests and past waterfalls. Water sports enthusiasts will have a field day at Lake Kivu. Whilst bird watchers are likely to be equally thrilled by the lake’s diverse avian species.

As this is a prime holiday area, there are a range of hotels to choose from such as the Lake Kivu Serena Hotel in Gisenyi or Cormoran Lodge in Kibuye. The Kivu Queen luxury boat is also opening soon…

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